Mayura Balasubramanian, The Founder of Craftizen Foundation Tells us About How Their Green Skilling Programme Has Impacted Lives of The Differently-Abled & More

We all have been struggling to move towards the betterment of society and making in eco-friendly choices. NGOs and entrepreneurs are working towards a sustainable process and recycling of the improvement. The Bengaluru-based organization named Craftizen, an NGO that works towards preserving Indian craft skills and towards making sure they are relevant in today's age and time.

About Craftizen

Founded in 2014, Craftizen encourages the growth of better livelihoods through sustainable efforts aimed at protecting the artisanal skills and Indian craft. Mayura Balasubramanian, the Founder, is an MBA graduate and has grassroots level exposure to India's rich cultural heritage from handling a national craft.

The focus of Craftizen is on craft-based skill development to enable sustainable livelihoods for traditional artisans as well as marginalized communities. Currently, it is managing 20 skill training and livelihood centres across Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata, both urban and rural, in partnership with NGOs and government institutions such as NIMHANS.

What All Is Green Skilling Program All About?

One of the most significant livelihood initiatives is the Green Skilling Program that is being implemented in 12 centres in and around Bangalore and one centre in Hyderabad. The focus is on skill development in creating marketable products from waste material such as temple flowers, paper dust and discarded fabric.

Speaking to us, Mayura Balasubramanian explained about the program and said, "While our primary objective is to enable sustainable livelihoods for marginalized communities through craft-based skills, we wanted to add one more impact layer of being eco-friendly by converting discards into useful products, and that's how the term 'Green Skilling' was coined. 900 beneficiaries from marginalized sections, including persons with intellectual disability and low-income women who have no other sustainable sources of income have been trained and receiving ongoing livelihood support".

Benefits To The Differently-Abled People

Whether a person has a mild, moderate or severe level of disability, they can be engaged in this Green Skilling program since the task can be suited to their ability. Furthermore, they also found that there is a therapeutic and cognitive benefit to Petalists (persons with intellectual disability) of working with flowers, including improved self-confidence, ability to work in teams and colour recognition.

Explaining the impact on differently-abled lives, she added, "When a person earns an income, they are no longer just going to a day-care to be looked after, they are going to their place of work and this elevates their self-worth and also gain respect from their family members. All of this leads to psychotherapeutic rehabilitation which is important for mental and physical well-being".

Impact of Holi 2020 & Future Plans

Craftizen Foundation had developed a process to convert discard flowers collected from temples and wedding halls into non-toxic, safe and skin-friendly Holi Colours. Through these Holi colours, the following were the impacts on each one of us:

  • Livelihoods: 200 persons with intellectual disability will earn an income for 6 months.
  • Eco-friendly:10,000 Kilograms of discard flowers will be saved from landfills.
  • Non-toxic, safe and skin-friendly; suitable for children of all ages.
  • Water Conserving: The colours save up to 3 times water as compared to regular colours to clean up.
  • Zero-plastic packaging, altogether environment friendly.

Summing up with their future plans, Mayura Balasubramanian said, "To scale this initiative across the country and include many more partner NGOs and institutes so we can multiply the impact to so many more deserving. The Green skilling program is replicable since we use a range of discards that can be collected from near the production centres, this eases the problem of raw material available which can be a big bottleneck in the supply chain".

Such foundations are making us motivated and proud of such initiatives to make our society sustainable and eco-friendly.

(Featured Image Source: Rural Marketing)